See update below. CT just bit its master's paw.
The news that the Arizona Capitol Times, the semi-official mouthpiece of the Arizona Legislature, has a poll on the LD 18 recall race it's releasing tonight at 6 p.m. on ABC 15, should have the camps of both challenger Jerry Lewis and incumbent state Senator Russell Pearce on tenterhooks.
Given CapTimes' serious investment in the status quo, I have to wonder if it'll throw ol' Russ a bone. A poll at this point showing the embattled state Senate president ahead would help suppress the vote in LD18, and assist Pearce in beating the recall.
According to county elections Director Karen Osborne, as of last count,13,540 early ballots have been returned to the county from LD18. That's out of an estimated 28,000 that were mailed to LD18 voters. My calculator (and hopefully yours) crunches that as a 48 percent return rate.
Osborne said the county begins tabulation sometime Friday, but it is forbidden to announce any results until 8 p.m. November 8. There are 70,000 registered voters in LD18. So about 40 percent of folks vote by e.b.
Those with ballots have until 7 p.m. on Tuesday to drop them off at any of the recorder's locations or any polling place on election day.
No matter what the CapTimes/ABC 15 drops tonight, keep in mind, this battle will be won or lost by the GOTV (Get Out the Vote) effort. The so-called "experts" have been wrong several times through this recall process. Be wary of trusting them again.
UPDATE 6:06PM: Fun-ny. Even the state Capitol's official broadsheet is abandoning its master. The CapTimes' poll shows Lewis with a small, 46-43 percent lead, which is within the poll's margin of error.
As I reported in this week's commentary, Pearce's long political career of hate and slime is nearing an end.
But now is not the time for Pearce-foes to take a breather. The margin is too close. Sham candidate Olivia Cortes is still pulling 2.5 percent. And the poll shows 8.5 percent undecided.
Fortunately, Citizens for a Better Arizona and its small GOTV army know this. And they will not rest.
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Oh, and grok this weird analysis from the CapTimers: that one of the "few surprises" of the poll is there's a Republican split in LD18.
Well, that would be a surprise if you hadn't read my column this week. Or any weeks previous.
The real surprise to me is the following quote, pointed out by a journo colleague of mine: "Pearce lags behind when it came to Democratic voters, who heavily favored Lewis, 51 percent to 36.4 percent."
Huh? 36.4 percent of Mesa Ds for Russ? Hell, if they can find a dozen actual Ds in all of Mesa who "favor" Pearce, I'll eat my gas tank slathered in HP sauce. And that's only after I check these so-called Ds for lobotomy scars.